This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Mystical theology and the way of gnosis

We will summarize here by saying that over and above the ‘mystical experience’ as conveyed by the 16th century writers, there is a mystical theology, distinguished from general theology by being concerned with Ultimate Reality, the Unconditioned Absolute, which proceeds via intellection, normally apophatic. It is precisely the development of this ‘mystical intellect’ that we find in the Church Fathers from Clement and Origen on through Pseudo-Dionysius, whose work St. Aquinas himself cited more than on any other source outside of Holy Scripture.

We place ‘mystical theology’ in contrast to ‘mystical experience’ (even though the former necessarily includes aspects of the latter) primarily in order to distinguish the way of gnosis from the way of love, the latter finding expression through the popular works of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.

The purpose of these remarks is to point out that one need not sacrifice the intellect (again, in the supra-rational sense of that power which contemplates the universal) in order to experience the mystical union so colorfully described in the more popular and modern works on the subject.

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